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7 stargazing events not to miss this spring and summer

By: Katherine Butler on May 17, 2012, 5:44 p.m.
Curiosity Rover at Mars

Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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Curiosity Rover at Mars

True, this is not an event that will be visible from Earth. Nonetheless, the important moment in space history will take place on the evening of Aug. 5. At this time, NASA's Mars Science Laboratory, carrying the one-ton Curiosity rover, will land on Mars near the base of a mountain inside Gale Crater. This is near the equator of the Red Planet. Pete Theisinger, a project manager for the Mars Science Laboratory at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, says “Landing an SUV-sized vehicle next to the side of a mountain 85 million miles from home is always stimulating.” NASA plans to use Curiosity to explore the existence of water in the planet during its early history.